Online Joint Strategic Board (JSB)

Committee description

Secretary: Kathryn Cross, Email:

The University of Liverpool and Kaplan Open Learning (KOL) (Liverpool) are collaborating in the operation of an affiliated College of the University, through which they will deliver postgraduate degrees of the University online and to a global market. The JSB shall be the joint governing body for the College and will be responsible for overseeing its strategic direction, operations and performance.

Terms of Reference

a) To develop, set and oversee strategy and high-level objectives for the College to include but not limited to products, markets, brand development, portfolio development and recruitment strategy; ensuring due alignment to the University’s Strategy 2026, Student Intake Strategy and other strategic priorities.
b) To oversee the effective management of performance and operations in line with the expectations and minimum requirements defined at Schedule 4 of the Institutional Agreement.
c) To develop and oversee the Proposed Programmes Plan, including the consideration and endorsement new concepts or withdrawals and cyclical refreshment and modification, as proposed within the agreed strategic framework.
d) To receive the proposed Student Fees Policy from Kaplan Open Learning (KOL) (Liverpool) for the College and, in normal circumstances, taking into account market conditions and the College’s position in the market, approve the same.
e) To approve and oversee all relevant policies of the College, including but not limited to the College’s Refund Policy and the College’s Scholarships and Discounts Policy.
f) To receive and consider regular updates from KOL (Liverpool) on its planned investment strategy for infrastructure development for the College as prepared and updated annually by KOL (Liverpool).
g) To approve and oversee the annual schedule of reporting requirements.
h) To ensure that the College is in all respects operated in accordance with the Institutional Agreement and to agree any such changes to the legal/contractual arrangements as may be deemed necessary and appropriate.
i) To monitor and manage regulatory compliance of the College, including but not limited to CMA, OfS and QAA.  This will also include provision of data according to HESA and OfS requirements.
j) To oversee the Partnership Register of Intellectual Property Rights.
k) To adjudicate the fair and commercially appropriate resolution of any issues or disputes as may occur.
l) To promote and uphold the shared commitment to effective, co-operative and collaborative joint working practices in relation to the College.

Decision Making

In accordance with Schedule 5 of the Institutional Agreement, all decisions shall be made jointly, with the exception of any academic or quality issues or other matters as could materially impact the University’s legal or regulatory obligations or any such items subsequently agreed between the Parties, in which the University shall have the casting vote.

In exercising any casting vote, the University shall take into due consideration KOL (Liverpool)’s requirements to comply with academic and quality requirements, and use all reasonable endeavours to avoid exposing KOL to legal or regulatory risk.

Reporting Relationships

The JSB reports directly to the University’s Formal Senior Leadership Team, recommending/reporting matters to other parts of the governance structure where necessary.  For example:

•    Education Committee – for matters relating to the Student Experience.
•    The Student Intake Strategy Group (SISG) – for matters relating to student number planning, online programme portfolio, student fees, scholarships and discounts etc.
•    The Consumer Protection Law Compliance Working Group – for CMA matters.

Reports will be received from/referred to the University’s Online Programmes Operational Group (Kaplan) as appropriate, with reporting line to the Collaborative Provision Committee.

Frequency of Meetings

The Online Education Partnership JSB usually meets on four occasions during the academic year, with one meeting utilised as a strategic away day.


The quorum for meetings of the Online Education Partnership JSB shall be at least four representatives from each Party.

Members or key people

In accordance with Schedule 5 of the Partnership Agreement, there shall be no more than eight representatives of each Party.

University of Liverpool Membership

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education (Chair) Professor G Brown
Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, Faculty of Science and Engineering Professor J Sweeney
Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor F Watkins
Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor L Anderson
Director of External Relations T Seamans
A Representative on Behalf of the Director of Finance P Fallon
Strategic Director, University of Liverpool Online L Evans

Kaplan Open Learning (KOL) Membership

Senior Vice President, Kaplan Europe Andrew Thick
Managing Director, Kaplan International Pathways Linda Cowan
Managing Director, Kaplan Open Learning Nicola Pittman
Vice President, Recruitment & Marketing Clare Rawlins
Director of Quality & Compliance  Carol Dadd
Academic Director  David Dixon

Other members may be co-opted or invited to attend for specific meetings at the discretion of the Board.

Each Party may remove and replace its representatives on the JSB at any time by serving notice to that effect on the other such Party via the Secretary of the Board.